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The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  9,503 ratings  ·  285 reviews
Co-founder of the legendary Brother Juniper’s Bakery, author of the landmark books Brother Juniper’s Bread Book and Crust & Crumb, and distinguished instructor at the world’s largest culinary academy, Peter Reinhart has been a leader in America’s artisanal bread movement for over fifteen years. Never one to be content with yesterday’s baking triumph, however, Peter continu ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published November 14th 2001 by Ten Speed Press
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superawesomekt I assume you mean you only use fresh yeast or a starter? He has a number of sourdough recipes (maybe a quarter to a third of the recipes) and he provi…moreI assume you mean you only use fresh yeast or a starter? He has a number of sourdough recipes (maybe a quarter to a third of the recipes) and he provides guidance on using fresh yeast or active dry instead of instant. He uses instant in the recipes as that is most common for home bakers, but it is not essential and many of his recipes rely on starters of various kinds. That being said, I have not yet baked with sourdough, so I can't speak to whether or not it's helpful. This might be a good one to try to get at the library first if you can.(less)

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Jul 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
I love bread ! There it is out there, my secret is out.
- Slow bread baking is my method of choice for the moment
- Basic bread recipes that you can use fro any type of breads you desire
-Advice from bread geniuses aka gods

I will never finish it. I will feast on the recipes, alter them with wild abandon. I have been given the tools to forge ahead and try to reach bread god status with this book's guidance

I am now the proud owner of this book ! I love making bread and can't wait to make it better.

Feb 04, 2009 rated it it was ok
Reinhart is like the Yoda of bread making: he's great if you're looking for a master to guide you through the dense fog of bread making and leave you a jedi on the other side. But if you just want to know how to make a decent bread in your kitchen, well, you don't need Yoda to get you there. This book is needlessly daunting, and given it's wide reputation as a standard text for bread making, it could easily scare off a reader who hadn't actually made a simple bread before. It does have some very ...more
Aug 29, 2008 rated it it was ok
I ilterally could not wait to open this book and spend a week baking bread. I could almost taste the wonderful earthiness of it when I first cracked open the cover. But then I noticed something - almost every recipe is for white bread. The loaves in here are beautiful and the photography is superior - but where the heck are all the whole wheat recipes? There is only 1 recipe that uses whole wheat, and in the recipe there is a disclaimer that whole wheat is not preferrable because it is too bitte ...more
Jan 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The best, most profound book on bread baking I have read to date. Instead of offering his Master Recipe and boring simple variations to fill pages, Reinhart teaches you like you were in his classroom.

I learned more about bread, the craftwork and the techniques of home baking in this book than in all of my other reads. Whereas Lahey's "My Bread" give the Italian influence of bread it's due, Reinhart approaches the task from Parisian methods.

The artistry! The design! The full approachability of
Tanya D
Mar 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: bread bakers
Shelves: cookbooks
I like the detailed bread-making information and instructions, but I've had mixed results with the recipes. It seems that the recipes are either poorly tested or poorly edited, because the results often don't match the descriptions given in the recipes. For example, one recipe says to mix 3/4 cup water with 1 cup flour into a stiff ball. With this much water, the dough is merely a thick paste. I emailed Mr. Reinhart, the author, to inquire and he sent a helpful, friendly reply. This makes me lik ...more
Sam Ley
Oct 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I love to cook, so I get a lot of cookbooks. Most are not very good. I dislike cookbooks that are just endless lists of dubious recipes, fraught with superstition, mislabeled measurements, or just written by bad cooks. If I want that, I can have the entire internet.

But sometimes one comes along that actually makes me a BETTER CHEF. This is one of them! The recipes are good, but more importantly, Peter takes you through the entire process of baking bread, and what occurs during each of the many p
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Nov 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking, baking, foodie
Want to bake bread? This is the one book you need. Period.

(Okay. That's really all I want to tell you. But if you really want to know more, let me tell you that there is information here about the various types of bread---stiff, standard, rustic, lean, enriched, rich, flat, direct, indirect, yeasted, leavened, mixed method, and chemical---as well as the twelve stages of making bread, along with detailed recipes for every sort of bread you will ever need or want to make. Period.)
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Peter Reinhart
June 2020: I don't remember exactly when I read this book.

All I know is that after hearing how fabulous it was from several sources, I got it out of the library. And got in trouble for sighing and hissing as I read it in bed before going to sleep. Did I try any of the recipes (formulae?)? Nope. I'm too prejudiced.

Here are a few reasons why:

• countless instances of "Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle blade"
• the phrase: "The dough should pass the window pane test"
• "formula" instead of
Mar 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
I've been scared of bread before now.
Now, I'm making it all the time.

The best part is the starting part, and the main thing that is missing (and I'm not sure a book could provide) is some better way of defining dough wetness besides writing words like "sticky" and "tacky". I suspect that the two-fold answer to the problem is videos and just shoving your hands in the dough.

The recipes are good (so far), and the only two that haven't worked for me are the Ciabatta and the Casatiello. I underestim
This is a textbook about how to make bread for the home baker. First 100 pages are all about the science and math of bread. It's very interesting to read. The recipes, or formulas as Reinhart calls them, are thoroughly written and illustrated with photos when needed. I would not recommend this book to a beginner since as a whole the book contains so much information that a beginner might be overwhelmed or intimidated. While the actual process of mixing flour, water, yeast, and other things is fa ...more
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, food, bread, baking
This is one of the better bread books out there. This book will have you ordering diastatic malt powder online, checking the protein content of every flour in your grocery store, and learning all the proper names for classic French styles of savory bakes. The layout could be better- it's not always practical to say within a recipe "see page 87 for X technique" when your hands are elbow deep in dough, on page 163 of another recipe. But this book is exhaustive, deeply informative, and certainly ha ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Mar 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: baking, read2010
If I could ever apprentice with a baker, Reinhart would be it. I know a lot of bakers have baked their way through this book, and I hope I can do that. All I know is anything I've ever tried from it has been stellar, and his heavily photographed step by step instructions make even the most complicated process easy to grasp. ...more
Zomick's  Bakery
Nov 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Whether you are baker or not this cookbook offers a variety of recipe for preparing bread and other baking products. Me working at Zomick's kosher bakery and wanting to offer something new to customers, find this cookbook as a real baking treasury. ...more
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My first of several books in my foray into Artisanal bread making. There is an excellent level of how to detail, enough photos to given you a decent idea of what you are doing, and the math and tradition behind it all.

Reading it felt like taking a class in a good way. Plus, my first two projects turned out pretty good, which says a lot.

A thoroughly enjoyable read and a useful tome to keep around.
Nick Fisher
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
I have often heard that the chemistry and mathematics of baking serve as barriers for would-be dough-slingers, and rejoice that Reinhart does a remarkable job of breaking down the technical aspects of the craft. This book can be a beginners guide to professional and home bakers alike.
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food
So far everything from this book has been amazing!!
Matt Suder
Aug 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2020
bread bread bread. nom nom nom.
Jeffrey Brannen
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Simply the best cookbook I have ever used. Flat out superb in usefulness and accessibility.

The author details the chemical and scientific elements of baking bread, explaining not just the how, but the why. This allows the home baker to make necessary adjustments while baking.

There are clear instructions to shaping and proofing the dough. Every recipe I’ve tried has been successful except the sourdough, which may have been due to my using a plastic container rather than glass. Also, I can’t see
Jan 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Yeah, this is pretty darn extraordinary. If you are interested in bread, go for it. I fully expect it'll be one of your favs.

I tried the Swedish Limpa because I am trying to recreate a rye bread I tasted in Colorado years ago and which I finally learned is created through a singular process created specially at Dimmer's Bakery on Dahlia Street in Denver. Anyway, I'm still eating the Limpa a week later. It's still moist, but it isn't Dimmer's...

However, I did REinhart's recipe as background for t
May 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-to-re-read
When I was in culinary school, I had access to some of the most amazing bakers I'd ever met. I was in the bread guild, which met on Sundays, and was conducted by Chef Tom Beckman. He recommended this book over and over, and one day while I was in his office, and we were talking about "the bible of bread", all of his fellow bakers recommended this book.

I immediately ordered a copy, and was plunged into an amazing adventure of baking artisan breads. This is my go-to book for bread baking, and when
Oct 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food-cooking
My new favorite bread baking book!
Joel Friedlander
Jun 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Just about the best book about break baking for serious at-home cooks. Also quite nicely designed.
Nov 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
Another new goal.....
Courtney Eckard
Dec 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
love the details...made French bread from it last night :)
Phenix Nash
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was my first dedicated bread cookbook. I still glance through it from time to time and highly recommend it to beginning bakers. The recipes are easy to follow, the pictures are clear and attractive, and Peter Reinhart is a gifted storyteller who puts that talent to good use towards his stated purpose of bridging the gap between home and professional bakers.

It was using this book that I first made my own sandwich bread. That I discovered homemade ciabatta. That I learned about cold fermentat
patrick Lorelli
I must say this book is more like a textbook than for someone who is at home wanting to bake bread. As much as I was looking forward to reading it this book left me flat like I forgot to put in the yeast. I have been baking bread since I was a teen first with my grandmother then making pizza dough at an Italian restaurant where we made everything from scratch and then back in my own kitchen. This book actually taught me nothing, the recipes were even lacking. I will say one positive that the cov ...more
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was my "textbook" for a brief bread baking course I took as an undergraduate. Little did I know at the time that I would come to cherish this book and the techniques and recipes it contains. I've used it constantly for almost 20 years now and made every recipe several times over, to the delight of my family and friends.

You should know The Bread Baker's Apprentice is not a baking book - it's a bread book. The techniques and guides are focused on rustic, European breads. There are no cookies,
Haysha Shatzman
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
The theoretical section is great. And there are a ton of recipes.
It's theory section was more comprehensive than other popular bread books such as "Tartine Bread" and "Flour Water Salt Yeast". This book has a ton of recipes,many(!) more than the aforementioned books. I felt like there was something missing in between the theoretical section, and the recipes. Tartine and FWSY really take you by the hand after the theoretical section and guide every step of the process of making a loaf. The Bread
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my very favorite books on breadmaking! I have an older edition in hardcover, so ws excited to have the chance to pick up the ebook version at a reasonable price.

While I don't much like cooking from a tablet, I LOVE how easy it is to read even a large, heavy book on my iPad! Besides getting the revised version of BBA, I want to re-read the chapters on lore and technique.

This is an excellent book for beginning and intermediate bakers who are seriously into learning to make excellent
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
I love it when a baker can wax poetic about bread, and Reinhart definitely can. He's passionate about bread, and it shows in the preface, introduction, and two substantial chapters that fills up over 100 pages we get to read through before even getting to the formulas. The deconstruction section is especially interesting as far as the science and nitty-gritty of the grains and mechanics go. Even if you don't care for that stuff, the formulas are clear and fully explained. A really fantastic addi ...more
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Peter Reinhart is a baking instructor at Johnson & Wales University. He was the co-founder of the legendary Brother Juniper's Bakery in Sonoma, California, and is the author of five books on bread baking, including Brother Juniper's Bread Book and the modern classic The Bread Baker's Apprentice, which was named cookbook of the year in 2002 by both the James Beard Foundation and the International A ...more

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